Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 14, 2015 Dr. Parks, Susan Widener, and Nancy Phillips Resign from MH Humane Society Board

[Due to editing/posting problems, the layout of this post may have excessive spacing. I will fix it later when time allows]

The Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society met last Monday in a hastily called special meeting in an attempt by several members and one faction of the Board to oust the following five Board members: Mary Ann Toffoletto, Susan Allen, Dr. Michael Bratton, Judy Stockard, and Bette Crawford. See prior post here.

The vote was 109-91 to keep those members on the Board.

At last night's meeting, the first held following that vote, President Daniel Parks, Vice-president Susan Widener, and Board member Nancy Phillips resigned right after the meeting began. Parks and Widener were present. Phillips was not there. Parks gave a brief statement and then handed in his resignation along with that of Widener and Phillips, effective "immediately." Widener and he then left the meeting.

The Board was obviously surprised but immediately named Dr. Michael Bratton to preside over the meeting and everything proceeded.

The Board received the recommendation from the committee that interviewed candidates for the Shelter Director position.

Stan Eversole was nominated for the position. Mr. Eversole told the Board that he was extremely honored but would not be able to take the position as he had recently received a threatening note that seemed directed not only at him but at his children.  The note and the threat were reported to the HC Sheriff's Department.

County Mayor Bill Brittain, who was a member of the Director selection committee, was asked by other committee members if he had told anyone about the selection of Eversole. Brittain stated that he had told Dr. Daniel Parks and Nancy Phillips. At the end of the meeting, Brittain asked to make a statement. He said that all he did was answer the question honestly and no one should read anything else into that.

The committee agreed to meet again and present another name for the Director position.

In other action, the Board formally voted to notify city councilman/realtor Paul LeBel that they will not pursue the purchase of a building on South Liberty Hill Road for which some former Board members, acting through Perry Hall, had initiated and supported some form of option to purchase agreement.

Voting on new by-laws and the annual May meeting were discussed.

UPDATE: After the meeting adjourned, Sonya Shipley, County Mayor Bill Brittain's appointee to the Board, resigned.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

April 7, 2015 MH Humane Society Votes 109-91 To Keep Five Board Members

The Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society met yesterday at 7 PM.
The large upstairs courtroom was full and members were in the "jury box" and in the halls.

The Humane Society has a 13 member Board of Directors, most of whom were recently elected by the membership in October 2014. Click here.

Last night's meeting was a special called meeting for the purpose of removing five of the 13 Board members.

The five proposed for removal were Bette Crawford, Judy Stockard, Mary Ann Toffoletto, Susan Allen, and Dr. Michael Bratton.

These five were part of the seven-member majority who voted on March 9, 2015, to terminate Shelter Director Robyn Robinson and shelter employees Andrea Brooks and Michaela McDonald for falsifying time cards. During the March meeting, time cards were reviewed and Director Robinson was questioned about the accuracy of the cards, her signing off on the cards, and whether employees were being paid by the Humane Society while performing personal volunteer work for other organizations.

At the end of the March 9th meeting, the Board voted 7-6 to terminate Robinson, Brooks, and McDonald.

Crawford, Stockard, Toffoletto, Allen, and Bratton voted for termination along with City Mayor Danny Thomas and Thomas' appointee Wayne NeSmith.  The six voting not to terminate were Dr. Daniel Parks, former county commissioner Nancy Phillips. Susan Widener, Kim Hall, County Mayor Bill Brittain, and Brittain's appointee Sonya Shipley.

A couple of weeks later, a special meeting was requested to remove Crawford, Stockard, Toffoletto, Allen, and Bratton for actions "severely detrimental to the integrity and function of the MHHS Board of Directors." [Mayor Thomas and his designee Wayne Nesmith could not be removed from the Board because they, like Mayor Brittain and Shipley, are not elected members.]

The special meeting took place last night, and the vote was 190-91 to keep the five on the Board.

The next meeting of the Humane Society is slated for next Monday, April 13.